Owner’s Conference for G6 Hospitality – On the Iconic Route 66, There’s Only One Way: Forward
For the last several years, Bishop-McCann has worked with Motel 6’s parent company, G6 Hospitality, planning their annual Owner’s Conference. This year we were given an additional assignment. The G6 group asked Bishop-McCann to provide a full-service solution that included all of the traditional corporate event management done in the past, along with all of the meeting creative.
In previous years, Motel 6 had focused the creative theme and graphics on the location. As Bishop-McCann took over, that focus changed to support the key messages that executives wanted to communicate with attendees. Our objective was to make sure that the creative theme echoed the organization’s desire to build upon the iconic heritage of their brands while focusing on reclaiming their title as the recognized leader in economy lodging. Motel 6 needed to engage their Owner’s Conference audience in a fun and immersive brand experience. In addition, they wanted to take advantage of this once-a-year opportunity to deliver and reinforce messages focusing on growth, improving quality, and the wide range of brand tools and resources that the company provides for its owners.
Our team began work, and while collaborating with executives, we emphasized the no-frills beginnings of Motel 6 in 1962. We established a retro-design aesthetic that echoed the mid-century décor, creating an overall experience that aligned with the founder’s goal of making travel accessible to everyone. At a $6 price point, families driving down Route 66 found it easy to stop for a night. By presenting the Motel 6 brand through this fun, retro lens, we were able to set the stage for meaningful conversations about the quality and commitment to great service that continue to be at the heart of the brand.
We created the “Route 6” theme for the Owner’s Conference, integrating the concept through every aspect of the meeting, from executive speeches in the general sessions to trade show décor and mobile app development. “The Motel 6 team is always open to new ideas and that makes them great to work with,” said Program Manager, Melanie Shrader.
After months of planning, we welcomed 1200 attendees at the J.W. Desert Ridge Resort and Spa in Phoenix, Arizona, for four days of business presentations, three training sessions, a supplier trade show, twelve breakout sessions, an awards ceremony, networking events, and, finally, a lot of fun.
“Our goal was to give attendees a chance to really feel the essence of the brand, that spirit of adventure and nostalgia from the golden age of travel in America,” said Creative Director, Eric Olson. Once they entered the registration area of the Owner’s Conference, they saw a Route 6 service station where an old car supported the desk, the staff was dressed as gas attendants, and gas pump coolers stocked with root beer greeted the thirsty guests.
We lined hallways with one roadside attraction after another. Billboards were used as messaging screens, teepees—which served as an homage to a classic Route 66 stop—were set up in lounge areas, and a “Get your Kicks on Route 6 Choose Your Sneakers Stand” flanked the registration area. Here, attendees walked away with a pair of classic Converse sneakers to wear throughout the Owner’s Conference. Mini cars were placed in planters, along with branded pillows that sat on couches and lounge chairs.
Food and drinks embraced the theme, allowing guests to order a prickly pear iced tea and to get a hot dog from Tall Paul—an iconic Route 66 attraction. We also branded the beach balls in the hotel’s lazy river and lawn games around the property. The trade show vendors and the executive team from Motel 6 created a fun environment. The Owner’s Conference highlighted the services and expertise that the owners have at their disposal while also underscoring the iconic culture.
The Southwest retro décor at the supplier reception carried the theme through with houndstooth linens and succulents. Lunch included a salsa making class, and the awards reception took on a glamping air, echoing a Southwest camping spot. The ballroom was filled with teepees and also Southwest blankets. To top off the Owner’s Conference, guests sat in macramé backed chairs for the ceremony.
“The core of the Motel 6 brand is a promise made good by a simple proposition, that every traveler deserves an affordable, quality place to stay when they are on the road. We took those essential attributes of simplicity and quality and layered on fun, brand-right elements to create an enjoyable and memorable conference.”Creative Director, Eric Olson
Bishop-McCann provided a dedicated account team and creative lead to partner closely with the corporate team. Even with organizational changes at G6 only a few weeks before the Owner’s Conference, our group flawlessly executed each program component, including event theme concept, design concepts, all creative, mobile app, production, attendee registration, guest accommodations, food and beverage management, sourcing, logistics, and transportation.
As a result, Bishop-McCann delivered the program ensuring that every detail was taken care of. Our client partner left the event extremely satisfied. In fact, they mentioned that not only were they impressed with the details but that it was the best meeting yet. Account Director, Terra Cook said, “This meeting was one of the most successful events I’ve been involved with from a delivery standpoint. Everything was seamless! It was so effective that we are already working on the G6 Hospitality Conference plans for 2020.”
Comments from attendees included:
“I think it was perfect!”
“The trade show was awesome!”
“Well organized and of course plenty of food.”
“It all sums up to excellent.”
“Just keep doing what you guys doing. Overall it was a great organized Owner’s Conference.”
“In my opinion the conference management, time management, and communication were excellent.”
“I’ve been to many of these meetings over the years, and y’all outdid every single one which really surprised me.”